21-08-12

I bought a record once...

(This is kinda a part 2 to the previous i.b.a.r.o. post. Kinda.)

I've been thinking about getting this album's cover art tattooed ever since I heard about tattooing and I actually think I'm gonna go through with it this fall. I'm not a tattoo guy, and I'll never have sleeves or backpieces, but I feel like this deserves its place on my body. And since the idea has been in my head for about 4-5 years now, I guess I won't regret it.

Defiance, Ohio - Share What Ya Got

1. Hey Kathleen, Are You Hungry?
2. This Time, This Year
3. I’m Just Going To Leave...
4. Chad’s Favorite Song
5. I Don’t Want Solidarity If It Means Holding Hands With You
6. Drinking Song
7. Bikes + Bridges
8. Sweet Dudes + Sweet Ladies
9. Lullabies
10. Old Dead Tree
11. Road Sign Always Look Better Looking Over Your Shoulder
12. Response To Griot

I'm holding the lyrics sheet in my hands right now and I actually feel weird. It's been a long while since I've opened the lyrics sheet (partly because I know all the lyrics by heart). But holding it makes me feel younger, for some reason. It makes me feel punk. It makes me feel like I'm special. And I am special (not retarded, just extraordinary).
I got this cd undoubtedly from the No Idea Records online distro, back when I had to use my dad's Visa card and I couldn't order more than 3 records or something cause otherwise I'd be broke. This was also one of the first punk rock cd's I bought. I was heavily into the whole No Idea/Plan-It-X scene, all that folk punk and gruff punk rock and all, ya know. And then I got into Defiance, Ohio, who distributed all their music (and I mean ALL their music) online for free. Before fucking Radiohead did it, possibly (not sure) before Bomb The Music Industry and Quote Unquote Records was around. Before bandcamp existed. True DIY ethics, and that part, to me, was about as punk rock as you could go. Of course, being a true punk rocker, I wanted to support these guys, who I had grown to love to extreme measures, and so I bought the discs on a real format (compact disc, later on I bought the 7"s and the lp's too). This disc is actually the second pressing of the cd, which includes the Summer Tour 2003 songs they recorded. The original of SWYG didn't have track 7 to 9, but I couldn't imagine this record without them.
So, back to the lyrics sheet, and the packaging. Considering their DIY ethics, this record is self-released by the band, and the packaging blew my 15/16-year old mind. No jewel case, now clean-cut fold-out booklet, none of that stuff. I did get a plastic folder with the cover/back folded in. Within the plastic folder was then room to stick the CD in at one side, and a lyrics sheet at the other. So I got out the lyrics sheet, and it's an A3 page folded 4 times. The whole thing is compiled cut'n'paste style, has all the lyrics and more info and insights in the songs, awesome artwork, cool drawings, great layout. The back has an amazing band picture.
The lyrics were mainly politically and socially engaged so I could reason with one part and relate to the other. I learned a lot of lives' values from Defiance, Ohio. A song like I Don't Want Solidarity If It Means Holding Hands With You rings more true now than ever, but it was clear the first time I heard it because it's not far-fetched. You can go political like Propogandhi and I won't understand what the fuck they mean, but Defiance, Ohio were smart enough (or, not smart enough) to translate their thoughts into reasonably clear yet poetic lyrics.
And don't get me started on Road Signs Always Look Better Looking Over Your Shoulder. One of my all-time favourite songs ever in the world ever.
even when things aren't going so great there can be perfect moments that provide a brief notion of how things might be different and how we can makes them that way. this is a song for partners in crime, for escape artists, for secret clubs, and for conspirators. this is a song for running through sewers, for riding skateboard down parking garages and riding the elevator back up to do it again, for staring at the evening sky from rooftops, for the confused look in the policeman's eyes as we triumphantly hoist the garbage bags, and all night van rides across store lines. maybe ryan's right. maybe this is a love song.
I get chills when I listen to that song and it's almost a shame for me to sing along cause it's really really really beautiful.

Now, Defiance, Ohio were supposed to tour the UK and Europe around now, but apparently the tour got cancelled. The last time they were in Europe, I think, was a couple years ago, and the closest they played was in Luik/Liège. That's the other side of the country for me, definitely not do-able for a kid still in highschool, without a car and no contacts there. So I missed out. They're around for 10 years right around now also, and I still haven't seen them live. They're allegedly rescheduling their tour to 2013 so here's to hoping I'll finally be able to "sing my heart out, cause I know the words by heart now".

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